There She Goes
Parents who complain about being tired all the time (guilty as charged) might have cause to think twice after watching There She Goes.
Shaun Pye’s autobiographical comedy drama stars David Tennant and Jessica Hynes as Simon and Emily, a permanently frazzled couple blindly groping their way through the challenges of raising a daughter with a developmental condition.
It’s a situation that requires constant vigilance: take their eye off the ball even for a second, and nine-year-old Rosie is liable to smash holes in the walls, pour milk over her head or run out and lie down in the road. She also bites, screams and has a habit of leaving little… ahem, presents around the house.
The narrative flips between 2015 and 2006, when Simon – at this point a somewhat acidic, not entirely sympathetic character – spends his time smoking and drinking down the pub in order to avoid facing the fact there might be something wrong with his new baby. Nine years on, he’s a much more likeable figure who’s largely pulling his weight, only occasionally skiving off from his responsibilities, like a diver coming up for a gulp of air.
Pye’s script is full of bittersweet humour (Simon refers to his daughter as ‘the creature of havoc’). But it doesn’t pull its punches, either: ‘I want to grieve for the girl that she isn’t,’ said Emily shortly after Rosie’s birth, tearfully admitting she resented her for taking the place of ‘my beautiful, normal daughter’.
Of course, they both fall head over heels in in love with her; a love that allows them to dig deep and find the energy to power through the days and nights of relentless, exhausting, freewheeling chaos. (The regular ‘buckets of wine’ also help, their neighbour obligingly leaving space in his recycling for their ‘overspill’.)
Tennant and Hynes are both excellent, of course, as is Miley Locke as Rosie. It would be a stretch to call Here She Goes a feelgood show but, in its ability to radiate a sense of love and warmth without sugar-coating the draining reality of the situation, it’s a minor triumph.
This Country: The Aftermath
This one-off special of the BAFTA-winning rural mockumentary found dopey cousins Kerry and Kurtan (writers Daisy May and Charlie Cooper) picking up the pieces after being implicated in a stolen vacuum cleaner conspiracy. Kurtan was particularly bereft at having lost his bar manager’s job at the bowls club, wailing as he saw his replacement posing ‘with **my** food hygiene certificate!’ As a portrait of lives utterly devoid of hope or aspiration, it’s bleak, but brilliant.
Women on the Verge
Fans (like me) still pining for Sharon Horgan’s much-missed Pulling will rejoice at this funny, racy new comedy, which almost feels like a reboot (albeit transplanted to Dublin). Written by Horgan and Lorna Martin – on whose memoir it’s based – it stars Kerry Condon, Nina Sosanya and Eileen Walsh as three friends still struggling to adapt to life as grown-ups. With Horgan herself appearing as a therapist, this will fill the gap until Catastrophe returns very nicely, thank you.
Published in Waitrose Weekend, October 18, 2018
(c) Waitrose Weekend